Today it was a balmy 54 degrees outside so the kiddos, Pearl and I romped around the yard for a bit. Then I decided to take the opportunity to take inventory of the garden to prepare for the upcoming season. I used to be kind of mopey during the winter after Christmas because it was cold and there wasn’t much to do but that doesn’t really happen to me anymore since I have had my garden. January is when I start to plan my whole garden from layout to what I will grow to what kinds of foods I will want to eat which in turn, again, tells me what to grow.
So, as I traversed the yard I was pleasantly surprised with what I still found growing even after we have had multiple snows (although the snow has now obviously melted). I had cleared most of the garden in the fall to give myself a head start in the spring. One of the few things that had continued to grow was the broccoli. I had planted this from seed in flats back in February and it is still going. I am amazed because I never seem to be able to grow broccoli, let alone find a plant that is as prolific as these seem to be.
Another hardy plant I stumbled upon was parsley. I had great luck with parsley living through the winter a few years ago but for some reason haven’t had that success for a few seasons. I grow lots of herbs in the summer but never seem to have the forethought to bring some inside so I have them in the winter so it pleases me to happen upon at least one fresh herb I can rely on during the cold season.
Swiss Chard is the plant I have decided will never, ever die. It is still growing from summer 2011. How? Beats the hell out of me. But again, I know I can rely on that plant as my fresh green all winter long. Our turtle, Bossk, also enjoys having some fresh greens as well.
In the evenings lately, I have been paging through my seed catalogs, circling everything that catches my fancy. I wrote a post a few years ago about how I’m not one to invest tons of money into my garden and I still try to do it on a budget but have opened up to spending a little more. I still believe the people can garden however they please and if they can’t afford the delicious, organic, heirloom varieties, whatever gets them started is totally fine. As we get better at gardening we expand our options but it’s also good to keep yourself on some sort of budget if don’t have a avalanche of money available to you.
The last few seasons I have used a combination of seeds from local stores (lowes, dollar stores, rite aid) and purchasing online through Gurneys. Somehow I have been put on seed catalog lists so I keep getting more. Last year, after I had already purchased my seeds, I got one from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. Oh dear lord. It is essentially garden porn for people who love growing veggies. The pictures are beautiful and the variety seems limitless. There is also a special quirk to some of their pictures when they throw in a picture of a strange old man with a giant beard or an adorable child holding a bizarre looking giant turnip. Their prices are rather reasonable for some seeds so I am trying to find some varieties I have never grown that are the same price (or cheaper) than the ones I would buy anyway. I will probably put my order in in the next few days but I haven’t narrowed down my list yet.
I will leave you with this to ponder. All I could think of when I saw this weird tomato was the Gremlin in Gremlins 2:The New Batch that was injected with some vegetable formula and looked like this:
Is it just me?